Movie review: RoboCop

RoboCop

Paul Verhoeven (1987)

Sometimes I don’t understand my own behavior. I’m very much a proponent of auteur theory, if I like an artist I tend to try and look at most of their production. I have liked each Paul Verhoven movies I’ve seen (yes, even Show Girls). Some of them are among my favorites. But for some reason I still haven’t seen the majority of his filmography, I’ve only watched his Hollywood efforts. I bought RoboCop and watched in Blu-Ray before writing this article, and it was only the second time I’d seen it.

In a dystopian crime-ridden Detroit, dedicated cop Alex Muprhy is almost killed by criminal Clarence Boddicker ans his goons. He is taken by the OCP corporation and transformed into the experimental cyborg RoboCop, reborn to fight crime.

The Bad: Not much to say there, I think the movie succeeds at everything it tries

The Good: Visually it’s totally my kind of thing. Matte paintings, stop-motion, practical effects, for many that hasn’t aged well but the charm is real on me. Good performances overall, the baddie duo Kurtwood Smith / Ronny Cox is great. The violence is pretty graphic, superb music by Basil Poledouris.

My opinion: Not my favorite Paul Verhoeven film, but I really like it. Visually compelling, the satirical elements are very effective, a lot of details are here to make this word believable (like the recurring “I’d buy that for a dollar” thing). It deals with a lot of themes, and most of them are pretty dark, greed, violence, hubris, corruption, the depicted society here is beyond bleak, and by the end it’s not really better than it was at the beginning. I agree it deserves its cult status.

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